Grit and the Growth Mindset
Grit is the personality trait that determines your ability to “stick to it”, especially when things become difficult. A Growth Mindset is “…the belief that effort is “what ignites…ability and turns it into accomplishment”. Grit combines with a “Growth Mindset” to allow the seemingly impossible to become possible. These concepts have been studied in depth, and are mostly applied to the education field as teachers and administrators try to encourage learning in the classroom. But personally, I find that I have needed to apply these concepts to my everyday life (and my friends’ lives) more and more, as I/we work our way through the trials of womanhood and motherhood.
Grit and Breastfeeding
Since this is a site mainly focused on breastfeeding in the career focused, activity laden United States, I must talk about the idea of “sticking to it” even when you are feeling like a tired milk cow. Breastfeeding my first child was not an innate and effortless process. She wouldn’t latch properly for a month. She fell asleep after ever y 2.5 suckles and no amount of tapping her feet, or un-wrapping her receiving blankets to make her “uncomfortable and cold and awake” could keep her on task. Her “attention deficit” made breastfeeding a chore. Determined to give her at least some breast milk (grit example*), I pumped. I pumped for an entire month (more grit*), and finally, one day, I said to her, “One month old…If you don’t breastfeed today, you’re cut off for good-No Bottles Allowed Today!” (…enough grit for the both of us). Low and behold, she latched, eventually making it to 10 months of breast feeding. With my second monster, the ferocious little eater, I was faced with a wounded nipple that needed tending. Grit, determination, a growth mindset (I can conquer this challenge, I just need to figure out how)…I didn’t give up. I turned to the pump for that breast, and continued breastfeeding on the other side until I healed.
What’s the point of these short tales? The point is: It won’t always be perfect. It doesn’t have to be. More than ability, your mindset is the key to success in this process, so start affecting your mindset NOW. The book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, is a great place to start. Better yet, watch the 6 minute Ted Talk below for an immediate mind boost!